Jason McCoy's doin' easy time

LISA WILTON

, Last Updated: 11:33 PM ET

The lights are hung, costumes and makeup have been touched up and the camera is ready to roll.

Jason McCoy -- dressed in a bright orange prison uniform and hair slicked back -- looks squarely into the lens and begins wailing at the top of his lungs while air guitaring on an old broomstick.

It's a great shot -- too bad the director hasn't called "Action" yet.

"I'm a goof," says McCoy, hamming it up on the set of his new video, Bury My Heart, which is being filmed at the old remand centre downtown this weekend.

"I'm just doing my thing. I think I do it to make myself feel more comfortable more than anything else."

Bury My Heart is McCoy's first video filmed in Calgary and the fourth one to be directed by local filmmaker Robert Cuffley, who won a 1998 CCMA award for his work on McCoy's debut video, Born Again in Dixieland.

"It's been going great with him," says the genial singer whose third CD, Honky Tonk Sonatas has been garnering rave reviews across the country.

"I've wanted to use him every time since (Born Again in Dixieland.)"

The video, set in a men's prison, revolves around McCoy and a beautiful yet stern prison warden who turns a blind eye to the rambunctious parties the prisoners throw each night.

As the prisoners whoop it up, they are joined by a couple of cute, scantily clad go-go dancers.

"Well, yeah, if you're going to have a party in a men's prison you're going to need some scantily clad women," McCoy deadpans.

And what does his bride Terrine think of all this?

"She's at home (in Ontario)," he replies with a mischievous grin.

"(When she sees the video) I'm a dead man. That goes without saying. But it wasn't my idea.

"You see, we come up with ideas for different parts of the video. So (the dancers) were Robert's idea.

"It's a little tongue-in-cheek. It's like a Dwight Yoakam video. It's supposed to be a little dark, but in a goofy way."

The prison set is actually the second idea for the video, which should begin airing on CMT by the end of the month.

The original version was to be an outdoor shoot and feature some of Alberta's stunning landscape.

"We were going to do this outside and dig a great big hole and bury a heart in it," he explains.

"But we couldn't just because of the weather and that. It was getting a little late.

"But it's pretty neat in here. It's a different environment. There's a lot of different shots we can use."

McCoy says he enjoys making videos and may someday expand his experience into a full-blown acting gig.

He recently tried his hand at a bit of acting while taping a Christmas special for CMT called Holy Night.

"I play a homeless guy," says the Ontario-based McCoy, who appears alongside such Canadian artists as Julian Austin, Beverly Mahood, Michael Burgess and Adam Gregory in the show.

But McCoy doesn't believe every singer who has to pout in a video has the right to try his or her hand at acting.

"I think acting is a real tough, demanding thing and you really have to study it to do it right," he says.

"At the very least, I'd like to try a few character roles. I really respect people like John Malkovich and Billy Bob Thornton, who do all these character roles. I like that stuff."

For now though, McCoy is happy to concentrate on promoting Honky Tonk Sonatas.

Calgary fans can expect to see him onstage sometime before year's end.

"I really enjoy touring, so I'd like to do it as much as possible."


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